Tigerlily Foundation: Maimah Karmo tells her story

In honor of breast cancer awareness month, guest blogger and survivor, Maimah Karmo, shares her mission.

Maimah Karmo

Maimah Karmo

Tigerlily Foundation’s (Tigerlily) mission is to educate, empower, advocate for and provide hands-on support to young women, 15-40 – before, during and after breast cancer.  Although women over 40 have higher incidences of breast cancer, younger women tend to have more aggressive breast cancers and higher mortality rates, therefore, are at a higher risk. They are a largely under-recognized demographic – lacking in targeted education and services.  Often, younger women and their practitioners are unaware that they get breast cancer, so Tigerlily focuses on providing the community at large with targeted education, prevention and support.

Tigerlily Foundation was founded by Maimah Karmo, after being diagnosed at 32 years old. She was initially told that she was too young to have breast cancer- and to wait six months before going back to the doctor.  The lump doubled in size in six months.  After pushing for a biopsy, she learned she had aggressive breast cancer. While undergoing chemotherapy, she founded the organization – as a single mother, with a 3-year old little girl.  The foundation has grown to offer services and education to young women and families nation-wide.   Tigerlily Foundation now has volunteers nationwide providing a variety of support and is providing programming to young women.

Tigerlily is 100% dedicated to providing full-lifecycle support to young women in the community.  We address a need within a demographic that has more aggressive breast cancers, needs help coping with the challenges of treatment and needs help with finances, day-to-day support, and lifestyle adjustment after breast cancer, adjusting to issues with fertility, long-term health, family, dating, living with metastatic breast disease, potential end-of-life issues and re-defining life after breast cancer.

One of the major benefits of educating and empowering young women early is that they are an active participant in their own health.  They are aware of ways they can live a lifestyle that contributes to their breast and overall wellness, and if when a young woman grows older and does get diagnosed with breast cancer, she has immediate access to resources to help her during and after breast cancer.  To meet these needs, the  organization offers its Peer Education Through Awareness and Leadership (PETALs) Program – Tigerlily’s PETALS program provides younger women with breast cancer education.   We also offer a Chemobuddy Program, Buddy Bag, Funds for Families, At Home, Fearless Females and Stage 4 Programs.

To learn more about Tigerlily Foundation or to donate, visit www.tigerlilyfoundation.org.

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